Book Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Ashland Theological Journal
Volume: ATJ 44:0 (NA 2012)
Article: Book Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Book Reviews

Mike Beaumont. The New Lion Bible Encyclopedia. Oxford: Lion Beaumont., 2012. 224 pp., cloth, $24.95.

Lion has long been known for its well-illustrated volumes, and this is no exception. Written by a British pastor and teacher, both of which come through in this well-executed and visually pleasing volume.

The book is divided into seven sections, each with numerous subsections of two pages in length. The first, “The Making of the Bible” briefly describes the nature of Scripture, the contents, compilation, and translation of the Old Testament, the history and contents of the apocrypha, and the content and creation of the New Testament, and the trustworthiness and historicity of the Bible, all in ten pages. Included are numerous color photographs, sidebars on specific topics, and a small “faith idea” seeking to apply each subsection with contemporary Christian life. Part 2 (“The Story of the Bible”) briefly summarizes the biblical story, while part 3 (“The Land of the Bible”) introduces the Bible’s geography, flora, and fauna. “The Nations of the Bible” (part 4), introduces Israel’s neighbors in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Turkey, Palestine, Persia, Greece, and Rome as well as those further afield. Part 5 (“Life in the Bible”) has two section. The first deals with aspects of the family, e.g. marriage, children, homes, sanitation (with even the picture of an Ephesian public toilet), daily life, food and drink, and clothing and cosmetics. The second concerns social life, looking at villages, towns, and cities, farming, fishing, crafts and skills, trade, commerce, and travel, money, weights and measures, government and justice, writing and language, leisure and sport (indicating the British background of the author), health and healing, slavery, and warfare. Part 6 (“Religion in the Bible”) discusses God, covenant, the Law, Jewish identity markers (food, cleansing, circumcision), Jewish festivals and holy days, worship, prayer, the supernatural, worship places, sacrifices and priests, prophecy, groups and sects, Jerusalem, life’s big questions (suffering, evil, etc.), the Christian faith, and death, burial, and beyond. The seventh and final part (“The Focus of the Bible—Jesus”) explores the Gospels, his coming, birth and childhood, launch, teaching, parables, miracles, ethics and lifestyle, new community, conflicts, final week, death and resurrection, commission and ascension, gift of the Spirit, message, followers (church history in 2 pages!), and return.

The book concludes (apart from a resource acknowledgement page) with an alphabetical “Index and Fast Fact Finder” provides a very usable entré into the volume, being a mini-encyclopedia with brief annotations along with a listing of relevant pages where the item is dis...

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